THE LANCET Volume 389, No. 10071, p801–802
25 February 2017
Sudhvir Singh and Jessica Beagley
Published: 25 February 2017
In October, 35 000 representatives of global, national, and local authorities, civil society, business, and academia gathered in Quito, Ecuador for the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). The conference culminated in the adoption of the New Urban Agenda,1 which defines priorities for sustainable urbanisation over the next two decades. This letter summarises the relevance of the New Urban Agenda to the health community and the mandate for health professionals to engage in multisectoral approaches to sustainable urbanisation. (...) A highly consultative process provided the opportunity for multiple actors to work together to advocate for increased attention to health, with the final text containing strong references to overall health and wellbeing, together with comprehensive attention to risk factors and priorities for action. (...) However, the New Urban Agenda, while providing a mandate to integrate health considerations into development and implementation of urban policies, lacks detail on the mechanisms and interventions required to achieve this. Thus, without concerted evidence generation, surveillance, advocacy, and engagement by the health community in local government discourse and decision making, the health priorities included in the New Urban Agenda will not be realised.